New This Year – Mobile & Online Game Check!

Starting with the 2016 hunting season, hunters will be able to check game three different ways! Hunters can call the telephone checking system (1-866-GOT-GAME or 1-866-468-4263), go online to GoOutdoorsVirginia.com or using our new, free mobile app GoOutdoorsVA. In all three options, hunters will be asked for their new customer ID. [Read more…]

Hunters: Be on the Lookout for DGIF’s Research Bears

Radio-collar bear research projectFor the first time in over a decade, Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) biologists are radio-collaring adult female bears in Virginia. [Read more…]

A Growing Elk Herd in Virginia

Virginia Dept of Game & Inland Fisheries

pict0249Since restoration efforts to restore this once-native species began a few years ago, Virginia’s Elk have been thriving!  DGIF Biologists estimate the total number of elk in Virginia to be between 150 to 200 animals.  Our Virginia bulls are growing impressive antlers and are now “bugling” to assert their dominance, and to impress their harems.  The sound of the elk bugle is one of the most unique sounds in nature.  These magnificent animals provide a great viewing opportunity–Elk Cows can weigh up to 600lbs and Bulls can grow to a whopping 700lbs! [Read more…]

Virginia Deer, Bear and Turkey Harvests

Virginia Dept of Game & Inland FisheriesWildlife biologists with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) have compiled preliminary figures for deer, bear, and turkey harvests for the 2012-13 fall/winter hunting seasons. The white-tailed deer harvest was down from last year while the turkey and bear harvest increased. The turkey harvest was the highest fall turkey harvest reported over the past five years. A better acorn crop than last year, in the range of average to good, across the state coupled with management actions to meet population objectives all factored into fluctuations in populations and harvest trends. The harvest figures continue to indicate that good hunting is available across the Commonwealth for these popular game species. Data presented in these summaries are preliminary. [Read more…]

DGIF Message to Advisory Group Members

Fellow Outdoor Supporters,

I’ve been asked to share this email with all Members who support outdoor activities in Virginia.  The communication being forwarded is from Bob Duncan, Director of VDGIF.  A basic understanding of what is being proposed and changes that may impact you on each is important.  The more we are aware of what is being proposed the better we can input the process and communicate our desires in a very proactively thoughtful manner.  It helps to know who is involved in what legislation so that we can contact the legislators directly with any particular thoughts or concerns.  This way we stay connected and assist in continuing to enjoy the best possible freedoms with the least amount of encumbrances.

Please share this with those who support outdoor activities in Virginia.

Virginia’s 857,000 hunters and anglers spend $1.3-billion annually and support 24,000 jobs.

[Read more…]

Virginia Moves Toward Restoring Elk Population

Bull ElkMISSOULA, Mont.—Kentucky’s elk herd runneth over, and Virginia has decided to welcome the overflow and build a sustainable, huntable population of its own.

In August, the governing board of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) voted unanimously to end unmanaged harvest of elk by state deer hunters. For years, any Virginian with a deer permit could shoot an elk wandering across the state line from Kentucky. That practice is expected to officially end this fall.

Additionally, the VDGIF board also moved toward an official elk reintroduction and management plan for southwestern Virginia. [Read more…]